Are you interested in developing and implementing strategies to help improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers?
If so, you’ll want to register for the Migrant Agricultural Workers’ Human Rights and Health Conference scheduled for May 17 & 18 in Toronto.
According to organizers, the conference aims to provide a platform to exchange ideas and updates on law reform work as well as formulate strategies that will increase the capacity of workers to improve their rights and protections. Topics to be discussed will range from housing and health to human rights and workplace health and safety.
Migrant agricultural workers have limited legal rights here in Ontario, including their exclusion from the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation and the Confined Spaces Regulation. This lack of protection continues despite a specific recommendation in the 2010 Dean Report calling for regulations to control key hazards associated with farm work. This lack of protection can lead to tragic outcomes.
On September 10, 2010 two Jamaican migrant farm workers were killed in a confined space incident. Reports explained that Paul Roache, age 37 and Ralston White, age 43, were overcome by toxic gases while attempting to fix a pump for an apple cider vat. Despite extending coverage under Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act in 2006 to migrant farm workers, they were not afforded the same regulatory protections related to work in confined space as other workers.
The conference is being organized by the Industrial Accident Victim’s group of Ontario (IAVGO), Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) and Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW).
What: Migrant Agricultural Workers’ Human Rights and Health Conference
When: Thursday May 17 & Friday May 18, 2012
Where: Ramada Plaza, 300 Jarvis Street, Toronto
Cost: Conference is free (though accommodations and travel are the responsibility of the participant)